I was intrigued this morning when a longtime friend posted a photo on Facebook of Alpharetta. More specifically of Hwy 9, facing North from the mostly now vacant lot across from the Dairy Queen.
One of the things that is funniest of the photo he posted is that it was actually taken at least 2 years prior to either of us being born, in April of 1974. This afternoon I went to the spot and did my best to recreate the picture for a comparison and both the similarities and differences are remarkable.
Even in 1974 the view is very similar to how I remember it in the early 80's. The view is from the parking lot of the first "large" chain supermarket in Alpharetta, Food Lion.
Just out of view to the right of the border was either a Photo Hut or Fox Fast Photo Booth, of which the yellow painted foundation remains. This was back when we only had "film" cameras and you had to drop off your negative roll to have the photos processed. I can imagine that to work in one of these booths a prerequisite for the job would be having no fear of small enclosed spaces. I've seen larger showers.
In the viewable right hand side you'll notice the marquee of the Drive-In theater that used to be behind the supermarket. I don't recall the theather having been open for business as far back as I can remember, but it appears to have been in 1974. Now it is the entrance to a senior citizen facility I believe. Beyond that is the old building that housed Northside Realty, the building remains, although one has gone up between it and the spot where I was standing.
The left of the photo has changed dramatically over 38 years. What appears to be the long gone Dixie Diner sits behind what may have been either a parking lot for the old "walk-up" Dairy Queen or a car dealership. Beyond that, in the distance is a water tower which I think stood behind what is now Smokejack BBQ.
It's funny in looking at the current photo to see the sign indicating there is a red light ahead, we only had one when I was growing up, at Milton Avenue / Academy Street and Main Street (Hwy 9)
As much as all along the street has changed, Main Street doesn't appear nearly as different as I expected it to.
Change is inevitable, as much as I'd like it not to be, and I'll continue to work to preserve as much of our local history as possible as a member of the Alpharetta Historical Society and as Chair of the Milton Historic Preservation Commission.